I’m laying in bed with a cold/The Plague and I’m thinking. I’m thinking about some stuff that needs to be out of my head so that I can see if it still makes sense.
At the start of this year, I had a bit of a revelation in that, so many of my thoughts were really quite negative. I think most people will admit to having negative thoughts, after all, it’s only human to question if our bums really look that big in those jeans. Add in the fact that I’m female, and British, it’s clear that I’m the ideal person to be predisposed to self-criticism.
But once I started thinking about my negative thoughts, I realised that it’s not just the superficial ones about size, shape, hair colour, that cloud my head all day.
How many times do I tut because someone didn’t indicate at a roundabout? Roll my eyes because I’m frustrated at a seemingly inept shop assistant? Get ‘pavement rage’?
And delving deeper…
We all have friends who are, shall we say, flaky. Friends who can never empathise with us because our lives are poles apart. Family members that question our judgement. I have, in the past, had profoundly negative thoughts about these things. Not just thoughts, even: entire pages of Facebook messenger conversations that span weeks.
I’ve ended up asking myself: is this really how I want to live? Is it the best example to set to my sons?
And how can I have positive thoughts about myself when the only thoughts I have about behaviour, loyalty and appearance are those that are critical of others.
What if I make a new rule? To let it go. Unless someone else’s behaviour intentionally causes harm to me or my loved ones, I’m going to let it go. What do I gain by not letting them off the hook? Nothing. I’m not talking about being passive aggressive. I’m talking about consciously making an effort to not be affected by it. If it’s that serious a slight, maybe I’ll have freed up more mental energy to confront it properly. Tell someone that they’ve hurt my feelings. Help them to understand. Empathise. Then forgive and let it go.
From now on, I make the effort to have more thoughts that spark joy than those that do not.